The aim of this paper is to introduce the seven temperament components used in a temperament profile and describe the basic needs that are associated with people with strengths and weaknesses in each temperament component.
The objectives of this paper include: describing the seven temperament components used in a temperament profile by giving references to incidents involving people with obvious strong or weak component needs, based on observations from my own experiences, each component of a temperament profile will be explained in greater depth.
This component develops rational, coherent behaviour and control over a person’s emotional state. For instance a person with a strong objectivity component may be a very logical and straightforward person in an emergency; however, at home may not show emotions within his or her relationships.
Strong need example: Michael has a strong objectivity need. This can be seen by the fact that for his entire life he has done exactly what he believes is best from a conservative, objective viewpoint. He is very academic, diligent and committed to his success. At high school he chose all the subjects that were considered most appropriate, therefore he would be able to the best marks possible and as such may have the greatest likelihood of getting a good job. When he finished school, he really wanted to become a pilot, but decided that studying Accountancy at Sydney University may supply him with a more reliable career.
Weak need example: Amelia has a weak objectivity need. This can be seen by the fact that she jumps at new ideas without thinking about their consequences. When her job gets too tough or stressful she finds another job. She quite happily goes in and out of relationships, often believing that this will be the one she’ll marry.
This component deals with a person’s desire to get ahead in life and improve themselves; be it financial, social stature, prestige or in any other field.
Strong need example: Michelle has a strong Self-Centredness need. This can be seen by the fact that everything she does can be seen to have been done to improve her evident social stature and success. She chose to study Law at Sydney University because it was the most prestigious degree she could think of. She had two men who she liked a lot while going through University and when asked why she decided to marry the one she did, she said, ‘He has a family name has a far better financial reputation in society… and he owns a house in the Eastern Suburbs.’
Weak need example: Adam has a weak Self-Centeredness need. This can be seen because, although he has plenty of money he still wears cheap clothes because he finds them comfortable. Money is not particularly important to him and neither is social prestige, so long as he’s happy.
This component deals with a person’s level of social interaction. Those who have a high level of gregarious/ energetic need require the company of other people, they like to be the social person at a party and if they find it difficult to be alone. They are easy to communicate with because they enjoy the company of other people, although not necessarily one on one conversations. In managing these sort of people, you are better off utilising them in a group or in some form of activity that does not require them to be alone for long periods.
Strong need example: Rowena has a very strong Gregarious/ Energetic need. She likes parties, social events, and any excuse to have fun with a lot of people. She finds it hard to sit down and do nothing – her idea of a good vacation includes lots of people, lots of drinking and lots of activities, without a minute to spare in-between.
Weak need example: Amisha has a very weak Gregarious/ Energetic need. She is happy to be alone. She likes the peacefulness and tranquillity of sitting by herself. Her idea of a great holiday is one where you get to sleep in until midday and enjoy things in your own time.
This component deals with how much a person worries about the future and about himself or herself. In particular, a person with a strong Cautious/Self Critical need will always be nervous or concerned about what is going to happen. On the other side of the spectrum, in those with a weak Cautious/Self Critical need they rarely considered the possible outcomes of their actions and may appear as ‘dangerous’ or ‘gutsy.’ In communicating with these people you must try to reassure them and not give them the opportunity to foresee the worst in what you are about to say. In managing these people in an emergency, you should focus on reassurance and building on their confidence.
Strong need example: Daniel has a strong Cautious/Self Critical need. This can be seen because all his choices in life have been governed by his fear of choosing the wrong option. He wanted to change schools when he was younger, but worried that he would never be able to meet new people at the new school. He was offered a job, doing something he enjoyed, but turned it down, because he felt nervous about quitting his current job, and didn’t know if he was good enough to do the new job, even though he would enjoy it.
This deals with how much a person considers things in general. It has to do with a person’s insightfulness. People with strong Thoughtful/ imaginative needs, when combined with genuine competence may be useful in providing good insight into various issues. Often considered as idealistic. These people genuinely are interested in the things that are happening around them, and often give thought to what has just happened or is currently happening. When communicating with such people, it may be difficult as they may wish to consider things by themselves, but other times are quite open to discussing their thoughts with anyone willing to take interest in them. When managing such people, you should make it obvious that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.
Strong need example: Imogen has a strong Thoughtful/Imaginative need. She likes to ponder things on her own. When something happens to her, she would rather recollect the situation in her own mind, on her own, than talk to a lot of people about it. Many people consider her to be a ‘loner,’ but those who know her well find that they can comfortably share any experience with her.
This deals with a person’s need to be in control. A person with a strong needs likes to have power, likes to be in command of a situation, and refuses to let go of his or her authority. These people do very well when they are in charge. Those with weak needs are born ‘followers,’ as opposed to ‘leaders.’ When communicating with people who have a strong need in this component, try to avoid direct confrontation. Try to avoid getting into an ‘I’m right you’re wrong’ situation, because they will fight you until the end on the subject. When managing these type of people, you should endeavour to place them in positions in which they have control. Assuming they are competent, as leaders they will be great assets, but, if placed in a ‘follower’s’ role they may become resentful and a liability.
Strong need example: Fiona has strong Power Exerting need. This can be seen by the fact that she is in complete control of everything and everyone around her. She is the head of her own successful business, and no one will dare disagree with her at work. Her family know that if you get her started on an argument you may as well just give in and tell her she’s right at the beginning. That, if you do start an argument, she will enjoy proving that you were ‘wrong’ and she was ‘right.’
This component involves a person’s desire to get something done right. Those with a strong need in this component will spend hours working on the minute detail of a project to ensure that it is perfect. Where as those who have a weak need in this component will gladly say that ‘it’s good enough.’ When communicating with a person with a strong need, try to find a time when they are not involved in their project. When managing these people, try to give them work that requires attention to detail without so much requirement of specific time restraints. Try to avoid giving them tasks that are time orientated and do not require any real attention to detail.
Strong need example: Mitchell has a very strong Perfectionism need. This can be seen by the fact that he is fanatical about getting things right in everything he does. He is a graphic designer, and when completing a new project all his friends know not to interrupt him because he is entwined with any project until he is done. When he was at school, he would often miss a submission of an assignment by the due date because he was never quite ‘happy’ with his work.
Weak need example: Ben’s has a weak Perfectionism need. This can be seen by the fact that he likes to get things done quickly. He is a hard worker, but believes if its close enough, its good enough. If put to work that does not require specific detail, however, he can be very industrious.